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Art to Heart

Why Are Movement and Dance Important?

“It’s a wonderful experience, working with the children. They have so much energy and so much joy, and the dance and the music help channel their energy in a way that makes them happy and gives them a real sense of accomplishment.”

Adam Rugo, percussionist, Center of Creative Arts Urban Arts Program

“Children need to feel successful. And if they’re struggling academically, if they’re facing numerous societal problems that most adults can’t handle, they need to find a haven. And sometimes art class, dance class, is that outlet for them. Academics can be pretty tough, even if you’re good at it. Sometimes you just need a break. Kids need a way to show their expertise; they need ways to express themselves—and it might not be through paper and pencil. It might be through a song, or it might be through a dance. And I think that providing them those opportunities is definitely addressing and meeting the needs of the whole child, which is what education should be about.”

Sharonica Hardin, principal, Adams Elementary

“The mind-body connection is an essential one for learning in the early childhood years. And the arts will ensure that a child is making a mind and body connection because they are physically engaged as well as cognitively engaged. Shortchanging the arts is shortchanging the learning process.”

Liz Armistead, director of early childhood programs, Settlement Music School

“I don’t know what else you’d do with very young children—you don’t want to fill them up with facts. They’re artists; kids are just born artists.”

Deborah Harris, dance instructor, Center of Creative Arts

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